The latest Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system is the first Ubuntu Linux release to ship with support for ZFS as the root filesystem, also called ZFS on Root.
While implemented as an experimental feature in Ubuntu’s Ubiquity graphical installer, the new ZFS on Root feature allows users to install the Ubuntu 19.10 operating system with a ZFS formatted root file system and corresponding partitioning layout.
Ubuntu offered support for the ZFS file system for a while now, but only now the feature is implemented in the graphical installer, thus making it widely available to users. It’s based on the ZFS On Linux implementation, which is built as a kernel module and doesn’t require DKMS.
The feature can be found in the “Installation type” page of the Ubiquity installer and it’s marked accordingly to its current status, as “EXPERIMENTAL”. This means that is hasn’t been properly tested and it may cause data loss on some systems.
Here’s who to install Ubuntu 19.10 with ZFS on Root
Installing the latest Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) with ZFS as root file system is an easy task that anyone can do. But first, keep in mind not to install it on a production machine as it’s only intended for testing purposes to see if its faster or better than EXT4.
Assuming that you’ve installed Ubuntu at least once before, you will proceed as normal until the “Installation type” page, where you will select the “EXPERIMENTAL: Erase disk and use ZFS” option. Click the “Install Now” button to proceed and then the “Continue” button on the pop-up dialog to write the changes to disk.
That’s it! You can continue with the rest of the installation steps and let the operating system install with ZFS as root file system. Reboot your computer once the installation is complete.
Last updated 3 years ago